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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

178                                     FLORA INDICA.                 [Menispermacea.
Mr. Miers is inclined to think that Gartner is mistaken in representing the coty-
ledons as perforated with holes, and that they are rather lacerated at the margins.
They lie very near the surface of the idbumen, and are not flat, but are irregularly
folded over undulating tubercles, produced by the ruminating plates which project
from the condyle, and are so thin as to be with difficulty detached from the albumen
without injury. This may have led Gscrtuer into error; but the point is still doubt-
ful, Mr. Miers' materials, like our own, having been very scanty..
The nuts of Coscinium, which we have seen were all deprived of the sarcocarp, so
that the position of the style and the insertion of the fruit could not be determined.
The species of Coscinium are entirely Indian. The wood, which has a deep yellow
colour, aifords an indifferent yellow dye, and is esteemed as a drug by the natives of
Ceylon, but does not appear to be active iu its qualities. A few years ago it was
imported into England in some quantity, on the supposition that it would answer
as a substitute for the Calumba root (Jateorhisa palmata> Miers), but the specula-
tion was unsuccessful.
The wood of Coscinium may be thus described:—A several years old portiou of
stem is rather cellular and spongy, furrowed externally, and \ inch in diameter.
Pith broad, half diameter of stem, central part of large, loose, hexagonal -tissue, to-
wards the exterior gradually becoming smaller, longer and denser, and finally passing
into a woody tissue of ^vertically elongated cells, with truncated apices. Wood-wedges
small, very numerous,''40-70, closely placed, of dotted plcureuchyma, and large hexa-
gonal scalarifonn vessels, and occasionally spiral vessels towards the pith. Liber-
bundles very much radially elongated, annually increasing, and with obscure traces of
annual rings distant from one another. Bark tolerably thick, of small cellular tissues,
with a continuous very narrow zone of slender liber-tubes a short way from the cir-
cumference.
1. C. fenestratum (Colebrooke in Linn. Tr. xiii. 65); foliis fere
rotundatis basi cordatis vel subtmncatis subtus flavido-tomentosis, pe-
tiolis (nisi in plaritis juuioribus) vix peltatis, capitulis in axillis umbel-
latis.—Mters in Hook. Bot. Mag. t. 4f>5S, ft in PJuirm. Journ. xii. 185.
—C. Wallichianum et C. VYightianum, Miers in Taylor's Annals, ser. 2.
vii. 37. Menispenrmm fenestratum, Gartn. J?r. i. 219. t. 46./. 5; Jt)C..
£&Bt. i. 541, Prod. i. 103; Eoxb. II. J*£iii. 809. Cocculus Blumea-
nns, Wall. Cat. 4971 portion ! Pereiria medica, Lindl. II. Med. p. 370.
HAB. In ^eyknia! in Peninsula (loco non indicato), Wight! Pe-
nang? ?PalU—(v. *.)
Frutex alte seandpns. Jtemidi juniores dense incano-tomentosi, crassiores glabri-
usculi, eleganter striatuli. Folia arnplaj basi subcordata, 7-9-nervia, coriacea, sunra
glabra, subtus incana, vemdis crebris reticulata, 5-7 poll, longa et fere ^uilata, ju-
niorn oblongo-deltoidea, acuminata, peltata. Peiioli S-5-ppllicarcs, incani, basi torti
et dilatati. Capifala florum pediccllo pollicari suffulta, diamctfo J-f-pollicaria, in
aiillis vel ad asillas foliomra. delapsorum fasciculate. F/ores subsessilcs, virides? fulvo-
tomentosi. Petato rotundata, acuta, intos glabra et nervosa, patentia. Stamina
aterilia nervosa. Brupa 1-3, calyce petalisque peraistentibus stipatae, subglobosee,
villosee, diametro fere pollicares.
The-specimen of C. Blumeanum -from Singapur, in the Wallichian Herbarium at
the Linnean Society, contains .a fragment apparently of this species, without flower,
which Mr. Miers has called C. WaHickianvm.- Mr, Miers has also distinguished
C. WigHianum as a species, without assigning any characters. Dr. Wight's spe-
cimens exhibit only, uuexpanded flowers, but they seem identical with the Ceylon
plant. There is evidently some confusion in Mr. Miers* remarks, as C. Wiglitimum
is not included among Dr. "Wallieh's 4971, not having been communicated by Dr.
Wight to Dr. Wallich, but distributed separately by him undertime name of Cottinium
fenestratum.